Tooth sealants offered free to kids by Harcum College

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Friday, January 8, 2016

BRYN MAWR, Pa. (WPVI) -- A local college is trying to take a bite out of tooth decay in kids.

On Martin Luther King Day, January 18th, Harcum College's Dental Hygiene Program is offering free dental sealants for kids between the ages of 6 and 14.

Area dentist volunteers will evaluate the teeth, while Harcum's dental hygiene students will do the work.

Sealants are plastic compounds which coat the biting surface of the tooth, blocking damage from food & drinks.

"Most decay happens on the biting surfaces of the teeth, because there's very deep grooves that the children can't brush. No one can brush that deeply. So that's where the decay begins. So if we seal that with this simple procedure, there won't be decay," says Jean Byrnes-Ziegler, director of the Dental Hygiene program.

Byrnes-Ziegler goes on, explaining that some children will have more deep crevices.

She says putting a sealant on helps fill some of those crevices, to make it easier to clean the teeth

The process takes about half an hour.

This will be the 11th year for the Sealant Day, which is co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists' Association.

It's offered regardless of income, with no other qualifying information required.

However, appointments are needed.

To make one, call 610-526-6113.

Sealant Day is being held at the Cohen Dental Center on Harcum's Bryn Mawr campus.

Free oral exams, fluoride treatments, and other dental care instructions will also be offered